Friday is Whole Food’s one-day sale on ground grass fed beef! $4.99 per pound! Yay! I’m already planning on buying 2-3 pounds. My freezer will be very happy this autumn/winter!
UPDATE 2011-09-21: I’m a little disappointed with the ground grass fed beef at Whole Foods. It’s supposed to be 90%, but it’s awfully greasy. I don’t know what cut of beef they are starting with, but I don’t think it’s up to the quality of prior purchases when it WASN’T on sale. I’m guessing the sale ground beef is different!
Ugh, the dastardly donut got me today at lunch. I was visiting DH and we ate lunch together in his work lunchroom, and there was a box of Dunkin Donuts that another co-worker brought in that morning. Of course, DH had to open it, and there were just a few left, all jelly filled. I couldn’t resist. Darn! I think this is the first day, in a long time, that I really felt guilty about something I ate!
Darn Dastardly Donut!
And then when I looked up the calories in one of those suckas, yikes! 290 calories! That’s criminal! I won’t be doing that again, so I suppose it’s a good thing then. Anytime you learn a lesson, it’s good. And yes, I learned!
#1, look up foods like donuts BEFORE you eat them, that way you can judge if the cost of calories is worth the “cheat treat”
#2, It was a good donut, but really not worth 300 calories!
No wonder people on “diets” give up bread! Commercial whole wheat bread is loaded with refined sugar!
I only baked two very small loaves of bread for our vacation, so I figured I’d pick up a loaf if needed at the local store while we were away.
Stopping at a little local grocery/convenience store, I found many whole grain bread choices, but wow, was it shocking to read labels. They are full of sugar! I ended up with a loaf of Nature’s Pride “Healthy Multi Grain” bread. One slice was 4 grams of sugar! So, for a normal sandwich, that’s 8 grams of sugar! No wonder Americans are so obese! Sugar is hiding in supposedly healthy foods! The fiber grams for one slice is 3g, funny the sugar outweighs the fiber and it’s whole grain! Pretty sad!
I’m so glad that I don’t mind baking my own bread, where I can control my own ingredients and indeed make something worthy of the description “healthy” – by the way, an equal serving of my homemade baked bread is 2 grams of sugar, and I could probably even reduce it or even remove sugar altogether if I really wanted.
Those TV commercials for Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread drive me crazy! They try to convey that it’s the greatest health food since brown rice! And that it’s such a good choice for your kids!
Well it’s not!
Here is the commercial I’ve been seeing over and over:
Ingredients and Nutritional Data from the Nutella USA website
sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.
Serving size: 2 tbsp (37 g)
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Sodium 15 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 21 g
Protein 3 g
How About Some Sugar For Breakfast
Whoa, 21 grams of sugar!!! Duh, no surprise, of course that’s why kids love Nutella! You might as well melt half a Snickers candy bar on top of some whole wheat toast! Does a candy bar sound like a healthy choice for your kids’ breakfast? No? Well, then why is Nutella considered as healthy? It’s sort of like the cereal companies touting that because their product contains whole grains, it’s healthy, but it’s still loaded with refined sugar!
I don’t like their use of palm oil. I mean, come on! It’s 2nd on the ingredients list, before hazelnuts!
Now, I’m not knocking palm oil necessarily. I need to do some additional research on its benefits and possibly how it’s destroying the rain forests, but nutritionally, it seems similar to coconut oil. I am constantly cooking with coconut oil, which is a highly saturated fat food product. I’m not afraid of plant-based saturated fats, but I AM afraid of processed foods containing them.
Unless it’s virgin or extra-virgin, coconut oil can be very unhealthy, due to the way it’s processed/refined. As I said, I’m just beginning to research on palm oil, and I haven’t been able to find out exactly how it’s processed, but I’m assuming that the palm oil in Nutella is highly refined and nowhere close to virgin.
Which is it? Palm Oil or Modified Palm Oil?
It is very strange, but Nutella used to list palm oil as “modified palm oil” on their list of ingredients.
Is the modified palm oil in Nutella® hydrogenated?
No. The modified palm oil is a mix of the liquid and solid oil naturally extracted from the fruit of the palm. The mix is adjusted to assure the best consistency for easy spreading. The process also reduces the level of saturated fat. Per serving Nutella® has 0 gram transfat
This is what Nutella’s web site FAQ states now:
Is the Palm Oil in Nutella® a hydrogenated oil?
No. The palm oil is naturally extracted from the fruit of the palm. This palm oil is adjusted to assure the best consistency for easy spreading by reducing the level of saturated fat.
It still sounds like they “modified” the oil, doesn’t it? ADJUSTED to assure the best consistency? And notice the phrase “naturally extracted” – I don’t believe the word “natural” has any concrete meaning when it comes to food, in fact, it’s probably the most misused misleading word on a label!
I’ve been trying to find anything online that explains the sudden change in ingredient wording, but have come up empty. I have to assume it’s a slight change in their manufacturing process allowed them to remove the word “modified”.
Does Ferrero support responsible palm oil use?
Yes. As a member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), Ferrero only uses palm oil which is extracted from controlled plantations in Malaysia.
Now, if you believe the treehugger.com article, then it’s doubtful that the “RSPO” is even a legitimate environmental group.
Many organizations no longer recognize the RSPO as being legitimate. In November, 80 organizations from 31 countries sent an open letter that included the following:
Destructive oil palm plantations have been certified in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and the same greenwashing exercise has started in Colombia, Thailand and Ghana.
We are deeply concerned that RSPO certification is being used to legitimise an expansion in the demand for palm oil and thus in oil palm plantation, and it serves to greenwash the disastrous social and environmental impacts of the palm oil industry. The RSPO standards do not exclude clear cutting of many natural forests, the destruction of other important ecosystems, nor plantings on peat. The RSPO certifies plantations which impact on the livelihoods of local communities and their environments. The problems are exacerbated by the in-built conflict of interest in the system under which a company wanting to be certified commissions another company to carry our the assessment.
I keep seeing the commercials for Tyson Anytizers – so of course, I had to find out exactly what they’re about, knowing perfectly well, that it’s not going to be a healthy outcome.
From their web site:
Any time is right for Tyson Any’tizers®. They are the hot, substantial snacks that are always perfectly delicious. Ideal for any snack, partying with friends or as a unique meal, they’re unbelievably easy to prepare in just minutes. With so many varieties to choose from, the only hard part is deciding which ones to eat first.
Notice, there’s nothing mentioned about healthy. They do use the word “substantial” though. I guess that’s supposed to make a mom feel good about feeding this processed crap to her kids for a snack.
Hmm, how about some celery sticks with some peanut butter? Or an apple with some yummy locally made cheese? Or a cup of plain yogurt with seasonal fruit? Would any of these suggestions take longer than the 15 minutes that it takes to bake Tyson Anytizers? No, I don’t think so.
How about buying some plain chicken breast tenders, throwing them in an oven for 15 minutes, and giving those to your kids for a healthy snack!
Tyson Anytizers – Where’s the Ingredient List?
Don’t you just love it when a food company “forgets” to share the list of ingredients on their web site. Do they think we won’t notice? I guess they figure it would take up too much space? Or perhaps they are ashamed and know that once you actually read what these morsels are made of, you possibly won’t buy them.
chicken and water? hmm, when you make baked or sauteed chicken at home, do you usually add water? Nope, me neither. But there’s lots of salt, and sugar (dextrose) and some icky GMO products like corn flour, soy flour, and soybean oil. Yeast? Leavening? Sodium Alginate? Nope, not what I usually put in my homemade chicken.
They do have the nutritional data
Serving Size 7 PIECES (84g)
Serv. Per container About 9
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsturated Fat 4.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 560mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Without benefit of the ingredients list, at first glance, you’d probably think that it’s not too bad, right? Especially when looking at the low saturated fat, and higher amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. But they neglect to tell you that cheap GMO soybean oil is the fat ingredient.
But wow, the sodium is through the roof! There is no fiber, and 180 calories is too high for only 84 grams (under 3 oz). Almost half the calories are fat calories. A full 100 grams of chicken breast is only 165 calories, with 31g of protein! Tyson Any’tizers popcorn chicken only offers a paltry 13 grams of protein, with more calories and more fat!
What’s wrong with that picture? And don’t even get me started on Tyson’s factory farming practices. Stay away! There are better choices!
Yesterday, I made some fantastic yummy potato eggplant pancakes for dinner. I don’t always go meatless on Meatless Monday, but we do try to eat meatless one or two dinners per week.
The main flavor in these pancakes was obviously potato, I purposely used less eggplant because DH isn’t a fan. I wanted to ease him into it. Next time, I will include more eggplant – maybe two smaller ones. I love using the smaller sized ones because there are virtually no seeds, and the peel is tender.
These pancakes are really a snap to cook, because the vegetables are roasted ahead of time. Roasted vegetables bring such a wonderful flavor and you can substitute different vegetables in many combinations. Carrots, potatoes, onions. Or how about zucchini, leeks, cauliflower. The possibilities are endless!
Ingredients for Potato Eggplant Pancakes
4-5 small/medium potatoes, quartered
1 small eggplant, halved
1 onion, quartered
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Optional-coconut oil or more olive oil for pan frying (not deep frying)
In baking dish, arrange potatoes, eggplant and onions together and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt & freshly ground black pepper.
Roast vegetables in 350F oven. I like a lower heat, because I have a smaller countertop sized convection oven. It heats up quickly. Others roast vegetables at 400F. Choice is yours!
Once vegetables are fork tender, allow to cool for a few minutes, then pour them into food processor. Pulse a few times, then process until fairly chopped and combined.
Transfer veggies into large bowl, add eggs and flour, and mix until combined.
Using a cast iron pan (or if you prefer non-stick), pour 1 tsp coconut oil and allow to heat. Spoon pancake mixture into pan. I like making two smaller pancakes. You can make one larger pancake.
Add 1 tsp oil for each batch. You also might need to wipe out pan if necessary.
Serve with salad. 2-3 small pancakes for each person, with leftovers for lunch next day!
These pancakes really were delicious, and DH thought so too, despite that dreaded eggplant was a hidden ingredient! I will for sure make them again!
We’ll see how it goes, buying directly from the farm and other farmer’s markets, and then I’ll decide if I want to go back the following season.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with CSA, and I adore Farmer Dave’s and the staff, but I think I need a break.
#1, vacation. This year we will only miss two pick-ups, but there was a chance we’d miss four pick-ups if timing wasn’t perfect.
#2, pressure. There is so much pressure to process a large amount of food at once. Lettuce and other greens have to be washed then packed in towels & bags. Meals have to be planned around foods you might not be in the mood for. It’s tough, and it’s starting to get to me.
#3, cost and variety. Yes, I think I’m getting my monies worth every week, but it would be nice to spend the same amount (or even more) and get exactly the vegetables and fruit that I want. I will still promote and support Farmer Dave’s farm stands, but I’d like to maybe sample some of the other local farmer’s markets. Yes, it might be more expensive, but I’d be getting exactly what I want. And when Whole Foods has a sale on local veggies, I won’t feel like I have to pass it up because I have a full fridge.
#4, my garden. Sure, I feel ambitious now, but I’d like to expand my little backyard garden to include more vegetables and herbs next year. Right now, we’re growing 4 tomato plants, along with basil and oregano plants. I’m experimenting with potato plants too, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with those! I’d like to add hot and bell peppers, cucumbers, summer squash and possibly some lettuce plants. When the tomatoes die off, I’m hoping to plant some hearty greens.
I know it’ll be very difficult not to register for next year’s CSA. I will feel like I’m letting down a friend. haha. But it’s the best for me, and as I said, I will still continue to support Farmer Dave’s farm.
I haven’t officially weighed-in after coming back from our week-long vacation to the Moosehead Lake area of Maine, but I’m confident I haven’t gained anything permanent.
We had a really great time, the campground was on the ATV trail, so we could ride directly from the campground. Because of my weight loss, my back is a lot more “boney” than in years past. The seat on the ATV has a seam that digs/rubs into my back, and causes some pain. So, my funny story is I had to ride with a beach towel stuffed down the back of my pants for cushion! I love it!
We ate a lot of sugary foods like ice cream with hot fudge, and pastries from the local bakery. Oh lord, they make what’s called a “Persian” danish, which is a honey glazed danish loaded with maple frosting, then topped with crunchies. It’s probably about 700+ calories, but oh so delicious.
Now I’m back on track, but still coming off my sugar overload. I know how easily I can slip back into poor eating habits, and during times like this, I am humbled. It’s difficult. I know I use “vacation” as an excuse to eat foods that I normally don’t at home. The compulsive behavior is a lot harder to control. Even now, I would love to sit back, forget about cooking, and get some take-out for dinner!
I’ll be okay, I know I will. I do not want to be 200 pounds again. I will not go back!